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Old Nov 13, 2012, 02:47 PM   #1
likemyorbs
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Dutch legal system makes a mockery of itself.

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Two Dutch teenagers were sentenced to two years in juvenile detention and three years of compulsory therapy on Monday for ordering the death of a girl after an argument on Facebook.
The victim, identified only as 15-year old Winsie, was fatally stabbed in January at the request of the boy and girl, who were aged 17 and 16 respectively at the time.
The killer, who Dutch media named only as Jinhua and who was 14 when he committed the crime, was sentenced in September to one year in juvenile detention.
So let's get this straight, the two kids who ordered the murder were given 2 years, and the actual killer was given 1 year? Unfrickinbelievable. I don't care if he was only 14, he needs to be locked up for 20 years AT LEAST. And we in the US think OUR legal system is bad. The legal system in the Netherlands is a joke. Clearly there is no value on life in their laws.

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Old Nov 13, 2012, 02:54 PM   #2
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lol what? That literally doesn't make any sense
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by likemyorbs View Post
The legal system in the Netherlands is a joke. Clearly there is no value on life in their laws.
Yet their murder rate is nearly one-fourth of that in the United States.

It's problematic to claim they are failing when the numbers say otherwise.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:13 PM   #4
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Yet their murder rate is nearly one-fourth of that in the United States.

It's problematic to claim they are failing when the numbers say otherwise.
What does their murder rate have to do with lenient sentencing in this case?

Seems to me a difference in culture, and the relative well-off of people from this country and access to education, health care, etc....
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:14 PM   #5
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Yet their murder rate is nearly one-fourth of that in the United States.
And this is relevant to the story how? I doubt their light sentencing has much to do with their murder rate. The point is that it's insulting to the victims families to give such a light sentence. A year in juvi? You may as well just let the kid off the hook. Don't pretend like you give a crap if you really don't.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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And this is relevant to the story how?
You said, "clearly there is no value on life in their laws."

I'm pointing out that if this is true, it is not reflected in the country's murder rate.

So whatever value is reflected in their laws does not seem to be hurting.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:26 PM   #7
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It might have something to do with the fact that jail often creates worse criminals. I'd hope whatever happens that there is some follow up outside of the jail time.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:30 PM   #8
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Clearly there is no value on life in their laws
Would there be more value of life if yet another life was destroyed in addition to the one that was taken?

Think of the US concept of punishment as 'old testament'/eye-for-an-eye/revenge, and the EU concept as 'new testament'-style. The only European country that still has the death penalty is Belarus, the rest have long since abolished it, some in the 19th and others in the early 20th century. Some don't have the life sentence, either (mass murderer Breivik in Norway got the maximum penalty, 21 years -- he killed 77 people).
In several EU countries the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 15, so the killer in the Dutch case wouldn't have been punishable at all, and anyone under 18 gets juvenile detention, not prison.

I'm not saying I agree with this school of thought, my stance on crime is that anyone on the level of shoplifter or above should get a blind date with Hannibal Lecter and the guy from Se7en, without trial, but I guess that makes me a barbarian so I leave it to greater minds to sort that stuff out.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:35 PM   #9
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It might have something to do with the fact that jail often creates worse criminals.
If a 14 year old can stab someone to death, a bloodthirsty killer has already been created. Now the question is, do you contain them in a building for the safety of the public, or do you let them back out into society after a year. A year in juvi is clearly not enough time to deal with the plethora of psychiatric issues this kid clearly has.

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Would there be more value of life if yet another life was destroyed in addition to the one that was taken?
If it prevents more lives from being taken, yes, destroy his life.

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Think of the US concept of punishment as 'old testament'/eye-for-an-eye/revenge, and the EU concept as 'new testament'-style. The only European country that still has the death penalty is Belarus.
This is not a discussion about the death penalty, I understand that it's out of the question in europe. It would even be out of the question in the US because the crime was committed by a 14 year old. I'm just talking about actually dealing with the crime at hand, it seems to me that the dutch courts just sweeped it under the rug and said "oh well, **** happens"
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:36 PM   #10
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If a 14 year old can stab someone to death, a bloodthirsty killer has already been created. Now the question is, do you contain them in a building for the safety of the public, or do you let them back out into society after a year. A year in juvi is clearly not enough time to deal with the plethora of psychiatric issues this kid clearly has.
It appears that Anuba gave the answer in that it seems like 15 yrs old is the magic age for more severe punishment.

I agree that it is an extremely surprising sentence but not being familiar with Dutch laws or mindsets, it might be that they believe they can rehab people rather than make them career criminals. I know our system is broke, I don't know how well their system is so I can't make a judgment. Again, that is why I'd hope they'd have some follow up after the year.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:39 PM   #11
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I agree that it is an extremely surprising sentence but not being familiar with Dutch laws or mindsets, it might be that they believe they can rehab people rather than make them career criminals. I know our system is broke, I don't know how well their system is so I can't make a judgment. Again, that is why I'd hope they'd have some follow up after the year.
I hope so too. I fully understand their laws are rehab based, but one year for a 14 year old who brutally killed someone is clearly not enough rehab. The fact that he stabbed the person to death instead of shooting them is even more disturbing, it takes a lot more willpower to stab someone to death than to shoot them. I would venture to say that stabbing is more sociopathic than shooting.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:40 PM   #12
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This is not a discussion about the death penalty
I know it isn't, I'm just framing it in the context of the European school of thought when it comes to punishment in general... it's more lenient across the entire spectrum.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:41 PM   #13
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I hope so too. I fully understand their laws are rehab based, but one year for a 14 year old who brutally killed someone is clearly not enough rehab. The fact that he stabbed the person to death instead of shooting them is even more disturbing, it takes a lot more willpower to stab someone to death than to shoot them. I would venture to say that stabbing is more sociopathic than shooting.
I'm guessing that like most EU countries, guns aren't prevalent which is why a knife would be used.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 04:14 PM   #14
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The fact that he stabbed the person to death instead of shooting them is even more disturbing, it takes a lot more willpower to stab someone to death than to shoot them.
Here in the UK (and I guess Holland?), knives are used in crime as people don't have ready access to guns. From what I've seen reported here a lot of fatal stabbings are sort of a quick run up then a 'single punch' with a knife that hit something vital as opposed to repeated frenzied attacks.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 04:21 PM   #15
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Reading a Dutch site for expats:


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The victim was left "in a lake of blood", judges said in September as they handed Jing Hua K. a one-year sentence and ordered him to spend at least two years in a psychiatric facility.

The girl died in hospital five days after the attack.

Jing Hua K. was promised 150 euros ($190) or "a few drinks" if he carried out the murder, the court heard.

"Both defendants have a personality disorder and the level of development of their socio-emotional functioning is lower than average," the verdict said.

http://www.expatica.com/nl/news/dutc...er_250000.html

Just a little different to how Yahoo News, that bastion of fine journalism, reports it... and I'm quite sure that most here wouldn't think two years in a psychiatric hospital is an easy ride.

I'm sure HappyBunny will be along at some point to give some local background on the story, ja?
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 03:29 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by likemyorbs View Post
So let's get this straight, the two kids who ordered the murder were given 2 years, and the actual killer was given 1 year? Unfrickinbelievable. I don't care if he was only 14, he needs to be locked up for 20 years AT LEAST. And we in the US think OUR legal system is bad. The legal system in the Netherlands is a joke. Clearly there is no value on life in their laws.

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Before you jump to judge, what about the West Memphis Three.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Memphis_Three


The two defendants were tried under the Netherlands Youth Court system, this is designed to rehabilitate the offender. The court ruled that society would be better protected if the two offenders got psychological help with their personality disorders.
The alterative would have been that they were sent to prison for years, and then released, having never had any psychological help. They would by then young adults at the peak of the their strength, but still with a very dangerous personality problem, which by now would be very difficult to correct.



To all of you in the USA, I know that you see this as a very lax system, because you want punishment/revenge and not justice.
But I ask you compare the crime figures for all crimes in my country, against the same figures for your country.
Another point to ponder, is we do not have trail by jury. This means that court cases here are mainly points of law and not raw emotion.

It was raw emotions that sent three young boys to be wrongly convicted in West Memphis.
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Last edited by Happybunny; Nov 14, 2012 at 08:07 AM.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 07:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likemyorbs View Post
So let's get this straight, the two kids who ordered the murder were given 2 years, and the actual killer was given 1 year? Unfrickinbelievable. I don't care if he was only 14, he needs to be locked up for 20 years AT LEAST. And we in the US think OUR legal system is bad. The legal system in the Netherlands is a joke. Clearly there is no value on life in their laws.

Link
Yeah, I gotta say that after reading further about this situation, my opinion at this time is that there's no reason at all to be upset about it. Seems to me it illustrates a very strong value IN FAVOR of life and well-being. The only thing this situation does not accomplish, from what I can tell, is the fulfillment of some sort of revenge BS.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 08:20 AM   #18
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Another point to ponder, is we do not have trail by jury. This means that court cases here are mainly points of law and not raw emotion.
Isn't the issue here one of sentencing as opposed to rightful/ wrongful conviction? (If anything, juries tend not to convict... but that's an argument for a different thread)

In general terms here in Europe we tend to be a lot less punitive than the States when it comes to sentencing. I think there is more emphasis on rehabilitation than punishment. While this is a generally 'good thing' - I don't think we should get too smug.

Recently there's been an increasing recognition here in the Uk that an exclusive emphasis on rehabilitation and the interests of general society (as opposed to the victims needs emotional or otherwise) can mean that the victim or their surviving relatives are often traumatised twice. Once when the crime is committed and secondly when what appears to be an overly lenient sentence is handed down. (People are often heard to say that the criminal is laughing at them). The whole justice system can often seem to completely ignore those who have lost the most. It can reinforce ideas that society values the criminal over the victim and can also lead to the highly destructive notion that those who play by the rules aren't served by those in authority.

There's been a lot of discussion about this here and interestingly we've recently adopted the practice of allowing victim's statements to be read out in court prior to sentencing to try and start to redress this imbalance. The guilty party has to listen to what is often an extremely moving and powerful story of the impact of their crime. It gives the victims a voice sometimes even from the grave. For most people being listened to like this seems to be enough. Justice isn't just the arguing of points of law.

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Old Nov 14, 2012, 08:34 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jeremy h View Post
Isn't the issue here one of sentencing as opposed to rightful/ wrongful conviction? (If anything, juries tend not to convict... but that's an argument for a different thread)

In general terms here in Europe we tend to be a lot less punitive than the States when it comes to sentencing. I think there is more emphasis on rehabilitation than punishment. While this is a generally 'good thing' - I don't think we should get too smug.

Recently there's been an increasing recognition here in the Uk that an exclusive emphasis on rehabilitation and the interests of general society (as opposed to the victims needs emotional or otherwise) can mean that the victim or their surviving relatives are often traumatised twice. Once when the crime is committed and secondly when what appears to be a lenient sentence is handed down. (People often say the criminal is laughing at them). The whole justice system can often seem to completely ignore those who have lost the most. It can reinforce ideas that society cares more about the criminal and can also lead to the highly destructive notion that those who play by the rules aren't served by those in authority.

There's been a lot of discussion about this here and interestingly we've recently adopted the practice of allowing victim's statements to be read out in court prior to sentencing to try and start to redress this imbalance. The guilty party has to listen to what is often an extremely moving and powerful story of the impact of their crime. It gives the victims a voice sometimes even from the grave. For most people this seems to be enough. Justice isn't just the arguing of points of law.
You are right about juries.
The reason I added that fact was I was sure that many Americans would not know that many countries do not have trail by jury.


Victims statements are under discussion here, but like with any thing to do with the law it will take years.

But all in all I do think that the right decision, was made in this very sad case.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:17 AM   #20
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I don't know. It seems to me that if by the age of 14 a kid hasn't learned that stabbing somebody to death is wrong, that no amount of therapy or rehabilitation would ever make the kid trustworthy again. Thus from my viewpoint this sentence is justified if - AND ONLY IF - therapy has been proven to be effective. Sadly, with personality disorders, this is rarely the case.

In the UK we have had some horrendous examples in which 'kids' have planned an executed murder so horrific that they seem to me to be crimes against humanity, yet the kids have received relatively lenient sentences. The Bulger case is an example of this IMO. (link - please note it is unsettling.)
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 12:12 PM   #21
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I don't know. It seems to me that if by the age of 14 a kid hasn't learned that stabbing somebody to death is wrong, that no amount of therapy or rehabilitation would ever make the kid trustworthy again. Thus from my viewpoint this sentence is justified if - AND ONLY IF - therapy has been proven to be effective. Sadly, with personality disorders, this is rarely the case.

In the UK we have had some horrendous examples in which 'kids' have planned an executed murder so horrific that they seem to me to be crimes against humanity, yet the kids have received relatively lenient sentences. The Bulger case is an example of this IMO. (link - please note it is unsettling.)
While it is true that recidivism is a problem, the Netherlands has got a very good record.

http://www.wodc.nl/onderzoeksdatabas...ties-2011.aspx

Then click on Factsheet 2011-5A Full Text
Which is in English

No system is ever 100% but it works here more than it fails.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:47 PM   #22
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While it is true that recidivism is a problem, the Netherlands has got a very good record.

http://www.wodc.nl/onderzoeksdatabas...ties-2011.aspx

Then click on Factsheet 2011-5A Full Text
Which is in English

No system is ever 100% but it works here more than it fails.
But does it work for offenders who kill in their teens? It doesn't really seem to break down the information in regard to violent offenders....
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:07 PM   #23
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So let's get this straight, the two kids who ordered the murder were given 2 years, and the actual killer was given 1 year? Unfrickinbelievable. I don't care if he was only 14, he needs to be locked up for 20 years AT LEAST. And we in the US think OUR legal system is bad. The legal system in the Netherlands is a joke. Clearly there is no value on life in their laws.

Link
The Dutch are more oriented toward reforming a criminal, while U.S. citizens are more about getting revenge, venting their anger and being vindictive.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:48 PM   #24
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Before you jump to judge, what about the West Memphis Three.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Memphis_Three
It is quite common for your posts to start like this... an example of the poster's country doing something bad and you saying don't judge. I don't think that's correct or helpful - this is not a "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" situation. Unless likemyorbs happens to be a very senior politician or judge in the US he is not responsible for the quality of its justice system. Whether the US has an amazing or crap system is irrelevant- a view can be given on other country's systems without any hypocrisy. Of course you may disagree with the view, but that does not mean the poster is wrong to make it.

We are here to discuss the Dutch legal system, which I'm sure we can all agree has good and bad points.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 05:17 PM   #25
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It is quite common for your posts to start like this... an example of the poster's country doing something bad and you saying don't judge. I don't think that's correct or helpful - this is not a "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" situation. Unless likemyorbs happens to be a very senior politician or judge in the US he is not responsible for the quality of its justice system. Whether the US has an amazing or crap system is irrelevant- a view can be given on other country's systems without any hypocrisy. Of course you may disagree with the view, but that does not mean the poster is wrong to make it.

We are here to discuss the Dutch legal system, which I'm sure we can all agree has good and bad points.
You do make a very valid point of which I will take note.

I would never say that the Dutch legal system was 100% perfect by any means, but I do think that in the very sad case that the judges got the balance right.
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Last edited by Happybunny; Nov 14, 2012 at 05:24 PM.
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